Summer holidays bring with them travelling, eating too much, sleeping in and often, less exercise – not always great for your health and especially your waist line. Patrick Holford suggests a “nutritional survival kit” to take with you wherever you go this holiday…
First, there’s the flight. There’s a lot of extra radiation in long-haul flights so make sure you load up on vitamin C and antioxidants. In any event I take 1 gram twice a day, plus a multivitamin and mineral containing plenty of antioxidants, including at least 10mg of immune-boosting zinc. Keeping yourself optimally nourished is an essential for more adventurous trips where eating well isn’t always an option.
For long haul flights, if you want to get some sleep there’s no question that melatonin, the neurotransmitter that is released during the night, helps with jetlag. You take 1mg an hour before the ‘new’ bedtime for every one hour time zone difference, then halve it every night.
If you have been exposed to some kind of bug, perhaps in water or food, there are certain natural remedies that are good all-rounders. These include grapefruit seed extract, artemesia, oregano oil, garlic, black walnut extract and olive leaf extract. There’s a form of Artemesia, called Artemesia Annua, also known as Chinese Wormwood, which is highly effective against malaria, both helping to prevent and treat it. People who get malaria are often given Artemesin, a drug version of this herb. Artemesia is also a good anti-fungal, anti-parasitical and anti-bacterial agent so a good all-rounder.
Teatree oil is also a must as a natural antiseptic. Geranium oil and citronella are both anti-mosquito and you might find them in natural mosquito repellants. Travel with a combination supplement containing quercitin, vitamin C, glutamine, MSM and bromelain, which are great for calming down allergic or inflammatory reactions. Patrick Holford’s Allex is perfect for this.
If you get sun burnt or have some skin inflammation Aloe vera is excellent. In many hot countries is grows abundantly and you can always break off a leaf, slit in and use the gel that the plant exudes. The best way to protect the skin is with vitamin A based creams. Vitamin A is the skin’s main protector against radiation, backed up by vitamin C. Vitamin A based creams load up your skin to protect it from sun damage, but don’t stop vitamin D production, which is inhibited by sun blocks. Ideally, load up your skin every morning with a vitamin A based skin cream or moisturizer such as Environ’s AVST. Their RAD suncream is also excellent.